Red Puffer: Yes this winter, you don’t have to call in sick to have a duvet day – just buy a duvet jacket or coat – then every day can be a duvet day.

Built for comfort and warmth over style, they are not the most obvious of fashion garments but bulky puffer jackets in all lengths have become the A-listers must have item. Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Julianne Moore and Katie Holmes to name a few have been photographed wearing them.

Not only are they great for keeping out the chill, they are light-weight, don’t crease and best of all they disguise any post-Christmas indulgence. The other thing, of course, is that providing you don’t take it off in public, no one will know what you have got on underneath so you could still have your pyjamas on. Perfect if you are a dog walker or taking the kids to school and it’s too much of a rush to get dressed.

What started as a ‘I wouldn’t been seen dead in one of those’ sort of coat is now readily available from every High Street retailer. From Sainsbury to Zara take your pick.

From a styling point of view I would just advise that these Michelin Man type coats add bulk and look great on tall and/or slim ladies, however, if you are on the shorter size and edging towards a size 14/16 please ask a friend you can trust when trying one on, for her honest opinion before purchasing.

With regard to the best colour to buy, then my advice is: if you have blonde and light brown hair opt for a soft brown or light pewter, if you have dark hair then black or navy will work, should you have red tones in your hair then choose a khaki or brown and if you have silver locks then navy is best and black will look great too.

After all, it’s the ‘coolest’, warmest coat for the season – if you know what I mean!

 

Written by Personal Stylist, Shan Williams

For further inspiration please see our Pinterest board https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/duvet-day/

Signature Lace Bodysuit by Naked Princess. French Leavers Lace.: According to my great friend Google, way back in the ancient mists of time, the Roman Emperor Claudius II decreed that young men should be forbidden to marry because single men made better soldiers. A romantic young priest named Valentine defied Claudius, secretly marrying young couples. For his troubles he was martyred in 496AD and Saint Pope Gelasius set aside 14 February to honour him.

So as the day fast approaches, you will notice men in suits and men in jeans wandering around with troubled looks unsure whether to buy you the dozen long stemmed roses, the heart shaped box of chocolate liqueurs or the red satin nightie and negligee. The latter was my husband’s gift of choice last year – both in two sizes too big. Two sizes too big! As you can imagine the rest of 14 February was a fairly frosty day.

In my experience men want to buy lovely underwear for their partners but are troubled by it and don’t know how to go about it. Whilst I feel that women should buy their own underwear, preferably using their partner’s credit card! If you think your partner is going to be tempted to go the lingerie route with the gift buying, then show him this article first which is about things he needs to consider when buying your bras and knickers.

The colour

Choose lingerie in her favourite colours – don’t be tempted by red or black (both too temptress!) or white (boring!).

The brand and type

Do have a look in your partner’s underwear drawer. What brand does she favour – is she and M and S lady? Does she favour Empreinte, Victoria’s Secret, Bravissimo? The label will tell you the brand. Check out if she wears a full cup or balcony, underwired or not.

The size

We ladies go to a lot of trouble ensuring we are wearing the right size bra, we usually get measured by professionals. The rules here are the bridge or centre of the bra should rest on the rib cage and the breast should fit within the bra cup fully (otherwise the cup size is wrong). Also, you should only be able to get one finger up the back of the bra and under the strap (otherwise the bra size is wrong). Again look at a recently purchased bra and the size and cup size will be on the label. They vary depending on the brand so you need to buy the same brand and size/cup size as on the existing label. Take it with you, if in doubt.

The knickers

The first point here is they have to match the bra – again in a favourite colour. Secondly does she wear a full brief to cover her tummy (more Bridget Jones) or does she favour a mini-brief or thong (more Pamela Anderson)? Buy what she wears most, based on more research from her underwear drawer. Always buy at least three pairs so she can wear matching underwear on a number of days. It’s amazing how fabulous a girl feels when she knows she is wearing matching underwear!

So, in conclusion, your partner should be a bit wiser now – fingers crossed! If when you open that red tissue wrapped parcel on Valentine’s Day expecting some luxury lingerie and find he was still tempted to buy you a fluffy dog with ‘I wuff you’ embroidered on its belly (more sinner than saint), blame Saint Pope Gelasius not him!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

If lingerie doesn’t appeal then ask for a consultation from one of our consultants click here to look up who is based in your area. http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

I found the perfect outfit for winter road-tripping, lodge lounging, and base-layering... | Use Instagram online! Websta is the Best Instagram Web Viewer!: In the UK we just love our boots! Boots are more than just staple footwear for winter; they can be practical or uber-stylish and are extremely versatile for dressing up or down. Investing in a couple of pairs will see you through from workdays to weekends to evenings out.

As they are usually a big investment, buying the right ones is essential, simply follow my tips below and you’ll be beautifully booted in no time!

Go long?or short?

The important thing to remember when buying your boots is not just what fashion is dictating but what suits your personal style and your leg length and shape. It’s so easy to fall in love with a great- looking pair of boots, but are they going to look great on your feet and will they flatter your overall look? The good news is that with such a fabulous choice this season in the sales you will find several styles that work for you.

Ankle boots and shoe boots

The ankle length styles with a flat heel are practical and cute. If you are shorter in the leg, however, they can be unflattering if worn with a skirt so make sure you keep your tights the same colour to avoid ‘chopping’ your legs to look shorter.

The shoe boot is perfect for a smarter look when worn with trousers and the elegant styles could even be worn with your work suit. The more funky styles will work with jeans or for evening wear so you can wear them as an alternative to heeled shoes on a night out.

The knee high

If you wear knee highs with a skirt then make sure it is an appropriate length. If you have nice knees then you can wear a skirt that finishes just above or on the knee. If you have bigger knees then the skirt should finish just below them where the leg is slimmer so that you won’t draw attention to them. If, like many of us, you can’t find a pair of knee highs that fit your calves then check out specialist boot makers such as duoboots.com, the shoetailor.com, both who offer a wider fit or stretchy inserts.

The UGG boot

Who would have thought Australian sheepskin could be so stylish – even in the hot weather? I have spotted many young girls wearing them with a cute short skirt. They are ever popular with some new versions appearing and are perfect for slouchy comfort in style.

The key to knowing which boots are best for you and how to wear them is understanding your body shape, scale and style personality.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not ensure you make the right decisions when investing in those boots by treating yourself to a consultation with one of our consultants http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/

Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping.

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/boot-it/

Ha ha! But only buy it if it's right for you!: Who can resist the lure of the sales? With everything you never needed at eye-wateringly low prices, it can be difficult not to splurge on unnecessary items.

Come on hands up – how many of you have got items in your wardrobe with the ‘sale’ tag still on?

Despite the sales starting just before Christmas there are still some greatly reduced items to be had in January.

Here are some tips on how to avoid breaking the bank on those ‘bargains’ and most important of all how to have fun while you’re doing it.

What to expect

When you hit the shops there will be lots of items in the sales from this season’s hottest colours. But it’s worth taking a minute to consider if you will want to wear ‘volcanic orange for example or a red sequinned jacket next year when everyone else has moved on to another colour that is more fashionable. If you are going to invest make sure it is one of your best colours. If you don’t know which colours those are, then instead of rash spending invest in a colour analysis. For around £115 it’s one of the best investments you can make.

Make a list

Before setting off, make a shopping list of everything you wish to purchase and set yourself a budget.

There is no point in buying something that is heavily reduced if you don’t really need it. Don’t be swayed by any amount of saving. If you will never use it or wear it, what’s the point? Try to make sure you only purchase items that are on your shopping list as you know they will be put to good use – be strong!

Getting started

Go out on a day when you are feeling positive and energised – we all know this varies. Any purchase made to cheer you up will undoubtedly be a mistake.

Shopping is tiring so:

  • Wear comfortable and easy to remove footwear
  • If you are shopping for a dress, take some higher shoes and tights with you. Don’t try and imagine how it would look with your pop socks on.
  • Be sure to apply some make-up so you look your best
  • Wear a good bra and decent underwear. You want to look respectable if you are stripping off
  • Keep a watchful eye on your handbag – thieves love crowded shops and distracted ladies
  • Take a few coffee breaks and of course have a delicious lunch – don’t forget the diet starts tomorrow

Know your rights

Before you make a purchase be sure you know the store’s refund and exchange policy during the sale period. This will differ for each company, so to avoid misunderstanding always ask or read the signs that are usually displayed at the till point.

Enjoy!

Most importantly, have great fun at the sales – it can be a great day out. And remember those words of wisdom from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City: “I like my money right where I can see it – hanging in my closet!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not ensure you make the right decisions when shopping the sales and start the New Year by treating yourself to a consultation with one of our consultants http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/

Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping in the sales.

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/how-to-shop-the-sales/

I love a good hot stone massage, I love learning to give them more though!: How may ladies reading this blog paint that grateful smile on their faces when opening that present from their husband/partner? After all it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?

I expect if we counted up the cost of the number of unwanted or inappropriate gifts we have received from our husband/partner over the years the amount would be quite frightening. Whether you have a subtle approach, hinting often as to what you would like, as I do (the hint never seems to work though) or write a list to be more explicit – getting it right in terms of gifts for you is an annual challenge for a husband/partner.

Well ladies, let him read this and ensure that this is the first year you get what you want.

So gentlemen, this is for you. Research, look and listen!

Underwear

Research. Yes, we know you would like to see us in some sexy underwear. We would quite like it ourselves in fact. Two things here – we won’t wear it if it’s red and black and yes, it has to be the right size – a too small bra cup which shows four boobs not two is not a good look! So, research – go to her underwear drawer – look at the labels on her bra and knickers. What make does she favour? What size does she wear? Go to the relevant shop and buy something similar in a lovely colour – even take the original articles with you so the shop assistant can help you make the right decision. Wrap in tissue and put in a gift box. We love unwrapping surprises!

Jewellery

Look. You’ve probably been taking your partner/wife out for a while now. What jewellery does she wear? Does she favour delicate pieces or a more dramatic approach? Does she wear silver or gold? These are all important things to observe before hitting the jewellers. A friend of mine recently had been bought a really chunky silver necklace by her husband. She was disappointed because she couldn’t understand why he hadn’t noticed that she always wore delicate gold necklaces and feels guilty that she doesn’t like it because it cost a lot of money. As a result, she will tuck it away in a drawer and never wear it. I don’t think she’s alone, do you?

Perfume

Listen. When you are going out and the love of your life is getting ready listen for when she sprays on her perfume. If she’s going on a special night out with you the chances are she is spraying a perfume that’s special to her and she wears with pride. Quickly look at the perfume she has used and note its name – this is the one to buy. We ladies tend to have more than one, maybe a daytime scent and an evening/special occasion one. We tend to be a bit aspirational buying/wearing designer brands like Chanel, Prada, Gucci or Marc Jacobs because we can’t afford the clothes and they make us feel good about ourselves.

Kitchen gadgets and slippers

Guys don’t even go there. Even if she says she wants one of these items, she doesn’t!

A gift experience voucher from colour me beautiful if the perfect gift for a loved one! Order yours here http://colourmebeautifuldirect.co.uk/list.php?subCat=90: Chocolate or a spa day or colour me beautiful consultation

All winners in most ladies books.

So now is your chance to get it right based on our advice. As we will know most of us get as much from giving as receiving and we know she will love you even more!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not hint to your husband to treat yourself to a colour me beautiful gift experience, it will be advice that last’s a lifetime not just for Christmas. Please visit http://colourmebeautifuldirect.co.uk/list.php?subCat=90 

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://www.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/mens-guide-to-gift-buying/

Main image courtesy of Pinterest.

1920's Fashion.Beauty How I would want my hair: With the final series of Downton Abbey behind us, many of us are considering what we are now going to do between 9pm and 10pm on a Sunday evening. Not only have we enjoyed the breath-taking countryside, the intrigue of what goes on upstairs and downstairs but also to ogle at the elaborate costumes that most of us can only dream about. I for one am feeling a trifle bereft having watching every episode of every series.

Downton Abbey has long been revered for its show-stopping costumes and this series does not disappoint. With elaborate accessories and hues of mystical romance, it is providing enough fringe, pearl and lace detail to satisfy even the most hardened of style critics. So, banish those corsets (so passé, darling) and bring on the flapper silhouette.

Out on the streets, sales of long silk gloves, pearls and empire waisted dresses have soared since Downton Abbey aired. The popularity of Downton Abbey and its beautiful costumes has inspired a whole new demand for 1900s fashion accessories like hats and shrugs too.

British hunting parties and opulent candlelit dinners of bygone eras have inspired a return of the county and glamorous looks.

So how can we bring a little Downton into our daily lives without having to have our maid’s available to dress us?

 

  1. Wear a long string of pearls.
  2. Invest in a long pair of gloves and wear with a short sleeve dress for added glamour.
  3. A lacey number with sheer sleeves will flatter and feminise.
  4. How about a bow at the neck of your blouse for that prim ‘Lady Edith’ look?
  5. Dress in clothes with embellishment and detail.
  6. Don’t forget a dropped waist dress to be in tune with this series.
  7. Find a cloche style hat to keep you warm this winter.
  8. Add hair accessories to your locks to add sparkle even for the daytime.
  9. Buy that wax or heritage inspired jacket you have been meaning to get.
  10. Find a simple striped blouse. Oh, maybe not – I am sure we would all rather look more Lady Mary than Daisy.

 

The choice is yours.

Remember, in the words of the Dowager Countess of Grantham (played by Maggie Smith) – “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

_________

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not find out which of the Downton Fashions are for you by booking a style consultation? Drop waist dresses are not for everyone! Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/downton-fashion-inspiration/

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Schiaparelli fashions, 1929   (by thefoxling, via Flickr): When the days are becoming shorter and summer seems a long way off, what better way to stay cosy at night than to snuggle up in a pair of pyjamas.

The word pyjama stems from the Hindi word paejama, meaning “leg covering”, and men first started wearing them around 1870, after the returning colonials brought them back from the East.

In the 1890s, pyjamas, in wool and silk were starting to replace the night-shirt for gentlemen and, by the Thirties, they had become a key part of a man’s wardrobe. Pyjamas could be worn at home as elegant evening attire in materials such as silk and cotton.

Until the beginning of this century it had not been thought proper for women to wear pyjamas, as they preferred the more feminine nightdress.

Thank goodness for Coco Chanel, I say! She introduced lounging pyjamas in the Twenties, to be worn in the evening, and the beachwear versions, to be worn on holiday (French Riviera, of course, darling), convincing women that pyjamas could be a stylish alternative to nighties.

Between the wars, pyjamas grew in popularity with both sexes, and for women came in a more tailored style, with a tunic top and narrow legs.

Men now almost exclusively wore pyjamas, in cotton twill, calico and flannelette and decorated with pale stripes – still the most popular style today.

As we know, Pyjamas (or PJs as we love to call them) are a necessity in cold countries, especially at this time of year in the UK. There’s lots of things to consider when choosing the right ones for you. For example, are you a silk, cotton, jersey or a flannelette wearer? Do you prefer long ones or are you a shorts or baby doll girl? What’s your favourite colour? Remember, your pyjamas have to be in your best colour too! Effortless and easy, choosing the right PJs will ensure you head to bed in style.

The minute you put them on you start to feel relaxed and they are so comfortable. Some of my friends put them on as soon as they get home from work. Or what about that Saturday or Sunday when you stay in them until lunchtime or later – bliss! I do love a cosy duvet day – don’t you?

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not lift those winter blues and treat yourself to a colour consultation? Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://www.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/pyjama-party/

Image courtesy of Pinterest

fur vest & grey maxi: As you know from previous blogs I am a great fan of the sleeve. How many of us feel their arms need to be slimmed down or have bingo wings? How many of us have gone to a dinner dance during the winter and have frozen or had to invest in a pashmina to cover our arms and keep us warm? I can see you all putting your hands up, me too.

In the past there have been campaigns by well known magazines, asking manufacturers to put sleeves in garments – and are they? No they are not. I was out personal shopping with a client recently and I could only find one evening dress with sleeves.

So, this season is no exception and it is not only relevant to dresses and tops, we see the return of the Gilet in the fashion stakes and the sleeveless coat! (It reminds me of a recent genius piece of marketing I saw in a sandwich chain – the breadless sandwich – isn’t that a salad I thought to myself? They were selling like hot cakes!)

Both are an anomaly to me. Jackets and coats should have sleeves just by their very nature – right?

The Gilet is often seen as a garment worn to give extra warmth to the core of your body leaving your arms free for practical tasks. Forget practical, this is now to be a core fashion item in your wardrobe.

This season you can choose denim style or be a biker babe. The dedicated denim lovers can ‘rock’ their jean jackets without sleeves. They can be thrown over anything and worn with white shirts to sequinned pencil skirts. The biker babes are wearing theirs to toughen up summer frocks or layering with winter knits. The best bit though is you can DIY the look and cut off the sleeves of an old worn jacket.

OK, I’ve been won over on the Gilet front!

So what about the long sleeveless jacket? Long lines, fluid tailoring and premium fabrics are essential for a chic sleeveless jacket. Style with a super-slim polo top and skinnies to keep it current and casual. Top tip: if you buy one in neutral colours you can mix and match for work to achieve a tailored, sophisticated look.

Sleeveless jackets and coats may not deliver in terms of warmth but they are certainly this Autumn/Winter’s hottest trend!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

To find out about the best style coats for you, contact one of our consultants to book a style consultation. Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/to-sleeve-or-not-to-sleeve-that-is-the-question/

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Street Fashion - FASHION WEEK DE MILAN.  #fashion  #street: When I work with my clients giving them advice on what styles/colours best suit them, the major thing we need to take into consideration is their personality and lifestyle. As well as chatting through their preferences and asking about their lifestyle, I also ask them to complete a style personality questionnaire which defines whether they are creative, dramatic, romantic, classic, natural or city chic.

Ladies whose top score is classic, love to match, they like to look smart and elegant but their main priority is to co-ordinate. They will always wear the same items in their wardrobe with the same things and probably hang their clothes in outfits rather than separates. So anyone out there who is classic will love what I am going to say next and can interpret this fashion in a more pared-down way. However the dramatics, romantics and creatives can make this fashion their own. So get out there!

‘The two-piece’: ‘be it a twin-set, a trouser or skirt suit’ underwent a dramatic make-over last season and it is here to stay. Banish the notion of twin sets and pearls from your mind. The two-piece has undergone a dramatic make-over and we are all seeing double.

Co-ordinates, or ‘co-ords’ in fashion speak, are the instant cheat to a ‘put together’ look. The matching is ready-made for you and the top-to-toe look makes for a slimming silhouette which makes you look taller. Great if you are petite in height.

Statement print or colour blocking, sharp tailoring or loose jersey, trouser suit or skirt set; there are no ‘co-ord’ rules, just make sure they are matchy-matchy.

Tailored print suits can take you from boardroom to bar stool. Black and white (monochrome) makes its biggest impact with a stark silhouette. There are floaty and floral ‘co-ords’ to be found too with flowers going supersize in jumpsuits and playsuits. Or the Global Traveller inspired look will take you into festival territory, just add a fringed bag. Finally, if you like to keep ‘in-check’ and have more of a boyish figure go for the classic check look which is more tailored with a fitted blazer or long waistcoat, as it will suit your body shape better.

The great thing about this trend, of course, is you get two outfits for the price of one when you wear them separately.

So clash it up or wear them together for a statement look that’s guaranteed to turn heads and give you double for your money.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

To find out about the best way to wear your co-ordinates, contact one of our consultants for a style and image consultation. Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

More ideas on how to embrace this trend can be found at https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/seeing-double-the-return-of-the-two-piece/

 

Little Honor and Jessica Alba: Is there nowhere to hide from the eye of the school gate fashion police? My clients tell me that all they want to do is wake up in a daze, climb into crumpled jumper and jeans and get the children to school with their hair and teeth brushed.

But no. The school run has become the place to look stylish and be judged.

Do you think this is a result of ‘celebrity culture’ again? Not only have we all got to be waif-like, we have to look chic but casual. We see them in magazines dropping off their off-spring not a baby sick stain in sight!

The interesting thing about school-gate style is that, like hockey or netball, it is terrifically competitive. Of course there are mum’s who are not bothered – in true Catherine Tate style, but it’s what women do. We size up, we compare and as with any place where women meet, there’s a little bit of one-up-woman-ship going on.

You see the rushed-off-their-feet working mums who ditch and run (that was me – along with the guilt), then you get the fitness fanatics in their bouncy trainers and lycra (that was never me, but I wish it was), forever on their way to a keep fit class or Zumba.

Having read this blog, you will be wondering what to wear this week when you drop off the kids, my advice is a statement coat or raincoat which is practical and you can put over any of your more casual clothes to lift your look. Another top tip, wear a colour of the season that really suits you – that way you will look up to date, more vibrant, energetic and less tired – even if your baby has kept you awake all night! Finally, a little lipstick and lip gloss will brighten your morning and make you feel more confident.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

To find out about the best colours for you to ensure you buy exactly the right shade of coat, contact one of our consultants for a colour consultation. Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Check out our Pinterest board for some outfit inspiration to ensure you look stylish, yet feel comfortable, on the school run this term – https://www.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/school-gate-style/

Image courtesy of Pinterest – Little Honor and Jessica Alba